Thursday, July 5, 2012

Freedom


It’s the day after our country celebrated its independence from Great Britain. The key word that describes the Fourth of July is Freedom. Freedom is why this country is great. The basic idea behind freedom is having room to live as you choose. Freedom in America has become something that most of us are very sensitive about. We squawk at the slightest infringement of our liberty. This is because we have been made aware that other less than noble characteristics have disguised themselves as tenets of liberty. As a child growing up in Middle America in the 60’s and 70’s, I remember seeing great men speak out against glaring inconsistencies in our nation. They made us face the fact that freedom in America carried a double standard where only certain people were truly free. We struggled through the years of the civil rights movement and came through it with a better idea of what Freedom looks like. It is still not perfect, but it is better.

I believe so strongly in the right to live a free life that I joined the military and was willing to give my life for my country. I have a brother in harm’s way in the military as I write this. The point is that freedom is not free. It cost something in this life to stand against tyranny. So, as Americans we understand the concept of Freedom, the ability to live our lives as we choose. The sad fact is, the majority of American’s today are not free. Millions of Americans are living in bondage to an enemy greater than any foreign dictator our country has ever faced. This enemy lies within each of us. Millions have gained independence from this evil, but many millions are still in bondage. The enemy is sin.

Sin has brought with it a death sentence that no one can escape. The bible tells us clearly that we have all sinned and that the wages of our sin is death. But the good news is that the battle has been won and someone has paid the penalty for your sin. All that is required is to believe on the pesron of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. Jesus, God’s only son, left his throne in heaven and took on human flesh. He lived a sinless life, died on a Roman cross, and was raised from death in three days. He paid the price, he was the perfect sacrifice. You must realize that you cannot earn your salvation. Nothing you can do will bridge that chasm that separates you from God. God is perfect and holy, man is imperfect and sinful.

The bible says that your good works are as filthy rags before God. You cannot earn your way to heaven. Jesus says “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). As you sit quietly reading this, stop and think honestly about your life and the things that have happened throughout your life. How many events in your life would you like to change? How many of them do you feel like you had no control over, it was as if you were compelled to make wrong decisions’? It was as if something pushed you towards these destructive actions. In the 70’s Flip Wilson coined the phrase “The devil made me do it”. It became popular and many used it as a tounge in cheek excuse for actions that caused hurt. It is a fact that you have a personal enemy who hates you and wants to destroy your livfe. But a greater fact is that you are responsible for every action that you have ever done or not done. The only thing that made you do anything that was hurtful or destructive was the sin that warred inside of you.

You are not reading this article by accident. You are at a cross road in your life. If you know me personally do not look at my life, because I have struggled with sin and am just like you. The only difference is that I have forgiveness through my faith in Jesus Christ. I said earlier that freedom is not free. In this case Jesus paid the price that you owe. Today is the day you can experience true liberty, free from the bondage of sin.

Here is a sample prayer. Say it if you want to believe in Jesus and be saved from your sin. “Dear Jesus I know that I am a sinner. I know that I have sinned and am separated from God. I believe that you are the savior sent from God to save me from my sin. I now ask you to come into my life and cleanse me from my sin. By faith I thank you and believe that I am saved.” It is that simple. In the upper left hand corner of this blog is a link that is entitled “Gods Simple Plan”. When you follow this link you will find more scripture on the subject of salvation.

The bible is the word of God, and salvation comes through hearing the word of God. The stirring that you sense in your life right now is the Holy Spirit. He is the third person of the Trinity sent to earth to guide us into the path of eternal life. Trust the still small voice you hear. You may also hear a confusing, loud condemning voice. That tells you it is all hog wash and that you are not good enough to seek God. That is the voice of the personal enemy. The bible tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to you, resist the devil and he will flee you.

Today is the day trust Him with your life here on earth, and for all eternity. You are on this earth for a short period of time between eighty and ninety years, and then you are gone. After this life waits eternity, that is forever. There are two places to go. The first is Heaven, and you get there by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, or Hell and you get there by not believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Choose to day! It is your responsibility and it is your choice. No one can force you. There is much to be written on how a person can live their entire life and never face the fact that they are making a decision for eternity. Ignoring the subject is the same as saying no I do nto accept Jesus as my savior!   God loves you! Thanks for stopping by. I am praying for you!

Cliff.

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